Swartvoete

Swartvoete

Teen die 18de eeu het die Blackfeet -stam in die vallei van die Noordelike Saskatchewanrivier gewoon. Hulle het te voet buffels gejag totdat hulle hul eerste perde in ongeveer 1740 gekry het. Op die oomblik het hulle ook hul eerste gewere by die Hudson's Bay Company gekry. Die bevolking is drasties deur 'n pokke -epidemie in 1781.

Die tradisionele vyand van die Blackfeet was die Shoshoni. Tussen 1785 en 1805 is groot getalle van beide stamme dood in gevegte oor jaggebied

1806 lede van die Meriwether Lewis en William Clark -uitstalling het Blackfeet teëgekom by die kruising van Two Medicine River en Badger Creek. Kort daarna het Alexander Henry geraam dat daar slegs 5 200 mense in die stam oor was.

Maximilian, prins van Wiedneuwied en Karl Bodmer het die lande van die Blackfeet in 1833 verken. Bodmer, 'n talentvolle kunstenaar, het die portrette van Blackfeet -leiers geskilder. 'N Paar jaar later is dit ook deur George Catlin geskilder.

In 1837 het 'n ander pokke -epidemie bykans 6.000 Blackfeet doodgemaak. Dit was na raming twee derdes van die totale bevolking. Daar was gevalle waar Europeërs deur Blackfeet vermoor is. Hulle het egter 'n besoek van Pierre-Jean De Smet aanvaar. In 1845 verseker hy 'n vrede tussen hulle met die Flathead -stam. Die jaar daarna het hy die eerste Katolieke mis onder die Blackfeet gehou.

Blackfeet -leiers het in 1855 'n verdrag met die Amerikaanse regering ooreengekom. Hierdie poging om Blackfeet -jaggebied aan te wys, het misluk toe wit setlaars die grond begin inneem het. Dit het gelei tot Blackfeet -aanvalle op stagecoaches, ranches en forte.

In 1870 val Amerikaanse soldate die kamp van Heavy Runner aan. Meer as 200 Blackfeet is dood tydens wat bekend geword het as die bloedbad aan die Mariasrivier. Die Blackfeet het nie weerwraak geneem nie en in 1888 is diegene wat nog oor was, op 'n Indiese reservaat van 3000 vierkante kilometer in die noordweste van Montana geplaas (Sweetgrass Hills-verdrag). Vandag het die reservaat 'n bevolking van ongeveer 8.500.

Die Blackfeet woon in kampe, en elke kamp het sy hoof, wat sy bewegings beheer. Hulle het geen dorpe nie, en hulle produseer geen graan nie. Hulle is streng nomades wat van plek tot plek beweeg en net 'n kort tydjie op een plek bly. Hulle het perde en hulle volg die spel. Die Blackfeet het geen stamme in die sin van die ander nasies nie, aangesien elke kamp bestaan ​​uit baie losies en persone wat nie bloedverwant is nie. Dit wil voorkom asof die prairie -Indiërs gedemoraliseer is deur hul harde lewenswyse, en deur teruggedwing te word soos hulle was deur ons opkomende wedloop in die prairie waarvan die Indiër nooit gehou het nie, en totdat hy die perd gekry het, nie kon beset nie. Die Blackfeet as Algonquins moes oorspronklik stamme gehad het.

Onder die Blackfeet heers poligamie, en ook dieselfde gebruik om al die susters toe te ken aan die een wat met die oudste trou as hy besluit om hulle te neem. Volgens hulle is hierdie poligamie 'n noodsaaklikheid dat die saak uit die ongelykheid tussen die geslagte groei. Die lewe is lank in hierdie mees gesonde deel van die wêreld, en namate die mans voortdurend in die oorlog en in alle gevegte en slagoffers val, word die vroue gou die meeste, aangesien dit 'n noodsaaklikheid word om hul getalle aan te vul .


Elouise Pepion Cobell: Bankier-kryger

In 1996 het bankier Elouise Cobell die hoofaanklaer in 'n klasgeding geword, wat terugbetaling vereis en 'n beter boekhouding van individuele Indiese geldrekeninge wat deur die BIA bestuur word. Dertien jaar later het die federale regering genader vir .4 miljard, die grootste nedersetting in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis. 2005 Foto deur Robin Loznak /Great Falls Tribune

Om 'n jong Blackfeet -vrou te vertel dat sy 'nie in staat was' om basiese rekeningkunde te verstaan ​​nie, was moontlik die belaglikste ding wat die Buro vir Indiese Sake (BIA) ooit gedoen het. Die vrou was Elouise Pepion Cobell, tesourier van die Blackfeet-stam en stigter van die eerste Amerikaanse bank wat in Indië besit is. Sy word die hoofaanklaer in Cobell v. Salazar, suksesvol dagvaar die Departement van Binnelandse Sake (DOI) en die BIA namens byna 'n halfmiljoen Amerikaanse Indiane vir wanbestuur van trustfondse.

Elouise Pepion Cobell het in die 1950's grootgeword in 'n huis sonder elektrisiteit of binnenshuise loodgieterswerk. Oorkant die Blackfeet-reservaat het baie gesinne onder soortgelyke omstandighede geleef, ondanks die bestaan ​​van inkomste-produserende ondernemings soos olie- en gaswinning en boerdery op grond wat aan stamlede behoort. Cobell het gewonder hoe so 'n winsgewende ontwikkeling op die lande van die Indiane nie 'n beduidende inkomste kon bied nie. Lees verder Elouise Pepion Cobell: Banker-Warrior & rarr

Deel dit:


MONTANA

Ervaar die Blackfeet Cultural History Tour met Darrell Norman, Ee-Nees-Too-Wah-See, 'n Blackfeet-stamlid, bekende kunstenaar en historikus. Wie is die Blackfeet -mense, en waar kom hulle vandaan? Darrell laat Blackfeet se geskiedenis en kultuur lewendig word met voorbeelde uit beide moderne wetenskap en Blackfeet mondelinge geskiedenis en tradisies.

Darrell sal u in u voertuig vergesel na belangrike historiese plekke in die suidelike deel van die Blackfeet -reservaat. Buffelspronge, tipi -ringe (ou kampeerplekke) en medisyne -lodges is net 'n paar van die dinge wat u sal sien. U besoek die oorspronklike webwerf van die Badge Creek Agency en leer meer oor die rol wat dit gespeel het in die geskiedenis van Blackfeet. Dit is 'n opvoedkundige avontuur van die Indiese kultuur wat u nooit sal vergeet nie, waar die geskiedenis van inheemse Amerikaanse Indiane lewendig word.

Toerpryse:
1/2 dag toer 1 - 4 persone. $ 120
1/2 dag toer 5 - 10 persone. $ 30 per persoon
1/2 dag toer 30 persone en meer. $ 300

Dienste en aktiwiteite

Dienste

  • Boeke
  • Ontbyt
  • Aandete
  • Opvoedkundige programme
  • Geskenk winkel
  • Gids
  • Parkering
  • Toer

Aktiwiteite

  • Voël kyk
  • Kampering
  • Kulturele
  • Kulturele toere
  • Geskiedenis
  • Fotografie
  • Besienswaardighede
  • Wildbesigtiging

Spesiale aanwysings

Blackfeet Cultural Tours is beskikbaar by die Lodgepole Gallery en Tipi Village, 2 1/4 myl wes van Browning op US Highway 89 en Durham Road. Slegs 15 minute van Glacier National Park af.


Blackfeet - Geskiedenis

'N KORT HISTORIESE SKETS VAN
DIE BLACKFEET INDIAN STAM

ST. PAUL BOOK & amp STATIONERY CO.
ST. PAUL, MINNE.
TE KOOP BY LEIDENDE BOEKWINKELS

DIE SWARTVOET INDIAN
OPVOEDKUNDIGE PORTEFEULJE

Hierdie ongewone pakkie bevat getroue, volkleurreproduksies van 24 beroemde Blackfeet
Indiese skilderye deur Winold Reiss, en 'n briljante verslag van die Blackfeet -stam wat geskryf is
deur wyle Frank Bird Linderman.

Gelukkig vir diegene wat belangstel in die geskiedenis van Plains -Indiane, het die
Blackfeet -bespreking grens aan die Glacier National Park in Montana, en elke somer
lede van hierdie trotse stam kamp in Glacier Park. Hulle is uiters genadig
besoekers sowel as kunstenaars en skrywers wat die park besoek vir studie
Indiese lewe en gebruike.

Uiteraard word daar baie navrae in die park en in die reservaat ontvang,
vir inligting en foto's. Kunsstudente, hoërskool- en kollege -studente, bibliotekarisse,
onderwysers. baie, baie mense het gesê dat hulle graag die regte verhaal wil weet
die Blackfeet -stam. Hierdie pakkie is ontwerp om aan hierdie vereistes te voldoen. Die brosjure deur
Mnr. Linderman vertel die ware verhaal van die Blackfeet, terwyl die foto's van mnr. Reiss

Toe die buffel uit die vlaktes verdwyn, het die Blackfeet -stam honger gely.
Toe, in 1887, koop die Amerikaanse regering 'n deel van hul berglande vir
$ 1,500,000, betaalbaar in paaiemente van $ 150,000 per jaar vir tien jaar. Met 'n deel van
hierdie geld het die Indiane beeste gekoop wat hulle op hul weivelde bewei het. In 1895-96
hulle verkoop meer van hul berge aan die regering van die Verenigde State, en hulle het getand
pieke het mettertyd deel geword van 'n nasionale park deur die oprigting in 1910 van
Glacier Nasionale Park.

Intussen het die Blackfeet voortgegaan om te bly op hul reservaat in die ooste van die gletser
Park. Nou is dit boere en boere wat weswaarts kyk teen sononder na die skyn
Berge van hulle voorvaders. Hulle is opgevoed en is burgers van die Verenigde State
maar hulle is trots daarop om die ou gebruike van stamrade, danse en
seremonies.

Vanweë sy vriendskap met die Indiane, het die Great Northern Railway versamel
en hierdie materiaal gepubliseer, nou hiermee toegewy aan almal wat daarin belangstel
Glacier Park en die naburige Blackfeet.

(c) Groot Noordelike Spoorweg
Gedruk in U.S.A.
1940

SWARTVOET! Geen stamnaam verskyn meer gereeld in die geskiedenis van die
Noordwes -vlaktes, geen ander is so onuitwisbaar in die karige ingeskryf nie
rekords van die vroeë bonthandel van die boonste Missouri-rivier, en nog nooit
het meer angs geïnspireer by wit vlaktes. Hel-poort* was nie so genoem nie
omdat die water daar erg wild was, of die bergroete moeilik was, maar omdat
die pad het gelei van rustigheid na moeilikheid, na die lande van die vyandige Blackfeet.

*Naby Missoula, Montana. Deur deur die Rockies na die vlaktes.

Die drie stamme van die Blackfeet -nasie, die Pecunnies (Piegans), Bloods en
Blackfeet, is een volk. Hulle praat 'n gemeenskaplike taal en oefen dieselfde
Doeane. Lank gelede, waarskynlik meer as tweehonderd jaar, was die Blackfeet 'n
houtmense wat in die woude naby die Kleiner Slave -meer woon. Onophoudelike oorlog gedwing
deur die kragtige Chippewas (Ojibwas) op hulle gestoot, stoot hulle bestendig suidwaarts
totdat hulle die breë vlaktes bereik wat grens aan die Rotsgebergte in wat nou is
Montana. Hier het hulle groot troppe vetbuffels, elande en wildsbokke gevind, 'n uitputtende oorvloed wat hulle nog nooit geken het nie en hier, nadat hulle die Snakes bestuur het, en
waarskynlik die Flatheads, Kootenais en Nez Perces, uit die oorvloedige grasvelde
na die smal valleie wes van die Rockies, vestig die drie stamme van Blackfeet hulle
vlugtelinge te word. Niemand kan hul getalle vertel toe hulle uit die huis kom nie
noord. Ou Pecunnie -krygers het vir my gesê dat hul stam ooit 750 lodges getel het,
waarskynlik minder as 4000 mense en ons weet dat die Pecunnie van die drie stamme van die Blackfeet -nasie die meeste was.

Dit alles het gebeur voordat die Blackfeet perde gehad het. Honde het nog altyd vervoer
hul goedere. Om perde te steel, het hul strooptogte oor die eindelose gewissel
graslande ver suidwaarts, sê ou krygers selfs tot in die Spaanse besittings.
Dikwels was hierdie stropers twee jaar afwesig en was hulle byna altyd suksesvol.

Hul poniebande het gegroei totdat mans hul rykdom aan perde gemeet het. Vleis, hulle
hoofvoedsel is maklik verkrygbaar, maar tog het hierdie mense nie toegelaat dat die lewe sleep nie,
of oud word. Oorlog en perdestel was ook hul eindelose speletjies
Met die nodige opwinding en avontuur het hulle elke mens konstant gehou
opleiding, aangesien 'n suksesvolle aanval beslis pogings tot vergelding sou bring. Om deur sy stamgenote genoem te word as 'n groot vegter, of 'n slinkse perdedief, was die hoogste
die ambisie van 'n vlakte-Indiër en die Blackfeet was albei 'n meesterhand
gevaarlike stokperdjies. Toe hulle uiteindelik vuurwapens kry, word hulle die plaag
van die noordwestelike vlaktes, wat aanspraak maak op die hele land wat noord van die Yellowstone lê
rivier na die Saskatchewan. In statuur is hulle gemiddeld langer as die mans van
naburige stamme met dun, gevormde neuse en intelligente gesigte. Soos die ander
stamgenote van die groot grasvelde was hulle natuurlik 'n diep gelowige volk en
soos al die vlaktes -indiërs, was hulle natuurlik vrolik, lief vir grappies en gelag toe
nie in die teenwoordigheid van vreemdelinge nie.

Al het die Blackfeet moontlik hul sosiale gebruike uit die noorde gebring
woude, het hulle nie baie verskil van dié van die ander vlaktesmense nie. Elkeen van die
drie stamme is daar onderverdeel in geslagte, of geslagte van bloedverwante in die manlike geslag, daar
in die Blackfeet-nasie, miskien vyftig sulke stamme, bekend as Black-Elks, Lone-
Vegters, vetbraaiers, witborste, ens. 'N Man was nie toegelaat deur die stamwet nie
om te trou met 'n vrou wat aan sy eie stam behoort en die kinders van enige vakbond
altyd na hul ma se stam. Jong vroue is fyn bewaak. Daar
was min hof toe. Huwelike is deur ouers gereël, met toestemming van naby
verhoudings. En tog, wanneer moontlik, is die begeertes van jongmense in ag geneem.

Tog het die vader van 'n jong vrou uiteindelik besluit oor die vraag
huwelik vir sy dogter, en daar was baie dinge wat 'n vader moet oorweeg
om hierdie besluit te neem. Hy moet dink aan die jong man se broei, prestige en
sy mag om behoorlik vir 'n gesin te sorg. Hy moet dit nie vergeet as hy syne gee nie
dogter in die huwelik, het hy outomaties al haar jonger susters die potensiaal gemaak
vrouens van haar man, en dit, alhoewel sy skoonseun dit nooit sou eis nie
van hulle kon hulle nie andersins weggedoen word sonder die toestemming van die skoonseun nie.

Boonop moet hy onthou dat as sy skoonseun sou sterf, al sy vroue sou sterf
word die potensiële vroue van sy skoonseun se oudste broer. Hierdie sake het dikwels gelei
vaders om hul dogters te verbied om met die jongmanne van hul keuse te trou en dan
soms het die ongelukkige jong vroue hulself opgehang. Wanneer 'n
ooreengekom is die moeder van die jong vrou toegerus met mooi klere,
behalwe om 'n nuwe lodge vir buffels te maak vir die jong paartjie. Tydens al hierdie dinge
voorbereidings, wat weke vereis, vergesel deur haar ma of 'n vriendin, die
toekomstige bruid, onder die oë van die dorp, het elke dag voorbereide kos na die lodge gebring
van haar toekomstige man. Toe die trou-lodge uiteindelik in die
in die middel van die kamp het die ma van die bruid haar dogter na haar nuwe vergesel
huis, het haar gehelp om haar huishouding te reël en haar toe daar gelos. Haar pa nou
het 'n paar van die perde wat hy kon bekostig, soms aan sy dogter se lodge vasgemaak,
om sy respek vir sy toekomstige skoonseun te betoon, selfs sy eie oorlogskild en die meeste by te voeg
gewaardeerde wapens. Die jongman, siende dat alles gereed was, betree nou die
trou-lodge, sit by sy & quothead. & quot En vanaf daardie minuut was hy vir ewig
verbied om met sy skoonmoeder, of met haar susters te praat, en hy kon dit nie behoorlik doen nie
spreek hul name uit. Deur dieselfde stamwet sy skoonmoeder en haar susters
is verbied om met hom, of met hom, by die naam te praat. As 'n vrou haar skielik ontmoet
skoonseun in die dorpie het sy óf eenkant toe gedraai, óf terloops haar gesig bedek
haar kleed. Dit is die rede vir die tekens, skaam vrou, wat dikwels deur ou vlaktes gemaak word
Indiërs verwys na 'n man se skoonma.

Blackfeet -kinders is slegs as individue genoem. Familie, of vanne, was
nie gebruik nie, sodat daar selde iets in 'n persoon se naam was wat selfs op afstand was
voorgestelde afkoms. Kinders is dikwels deur hul grootouers of ander ouderdomme genoem
verhoudings, drome dui gewoonlik op die gekose name. Soms die een
in opdrag vir die kantoor 'n baba genoem, is die eerste ding wat die oggend daarna gesien is
ontvang die kommissie, voëls en diere wat die meeste van sulke name verskaf. Maar,
'n volwasse man kan elke keer sy eie naam verander staatskaping getel* in
stryd, of een keer per jaar as hy wil. In die ou tyd sou Blackfeet selde hul eie praat
noem hardop en glo dat dit ongeluk kan meebring.

* Let wel: die term staatsgreep, wat 'n slag beteken, kan toegeskryf word aan die vroeë Franse voyageur.

Buiten die geskenk van perde of goedere aan die vader van die vrou, was daar geen seremonie nie,
en min formaliteit, in 'n meervoudige huwelik. 'N Man se eerste vrou was bekend as His-Sits-
Langs Hom-Vrou. Haar plek was naby die & quothead & quot van die lodge op haar man
reg. Sy was toesig oor die lodge en die werk van die ander vroue, wat gereeld was
haar susters en sy het spesiale voorregte gehad. Soms kan sy daaraan deelneem
die gesprek van haar man en sy gaste, en sy kan, tydens informele
vergaderings, selfs die pyp rook toe dit in haar lodge geslaag is. Die ander vroue sit
naby die deur, wat altyd reg oorkant die & quothead & quot van die lodge is.

Rook was 'n heilige seremonie. Ou vlaktes -Indiane het ede en ooreenkomste verseël
met die pyp. Tydens rook het die gasheer of seremoniemeester die
klippyp, wat die stam eers aan die son (die vader) en dan aan die aarde (die
moeder) voordat hy self rook. Daarna gee hy die pyp na die gas aan sy linkerkant,
& quotas die son reis. & quot Na die rook, gewoonlik met drie diep trekke, het hierdie gas
het die pyp aan die man aan sy linkerhand oorhandig, terwyl die pyp se steel op die
losmuur in sy bewegings. En die pyp moet nie oorkant die deur uitgegee word nie.
Toe die man naaste aan die deur aan die gasheer se linkerhand rook, moet die pyp
gaan terug na die & quothead & quot van die lodge waar die gasheer dit aan die gas oorgedra het
sy regterkant, die pyp gaan, ongerook na die gas naaste aan die deur aan daardie kant.

Toe hierdie gas gerook het, het hy die pyp na die gas aan sy linkerkant oorgegee, sodat die
pyp het weer begin beweeg & kwotas beweeg die son. & quot As die pyp hervul moes word, was dit
teruggegee aan die gasheer wat dit aangevul het, die gaste, ongerook,
aan die man wat die leegheid daarvan ontdek het. Niemand mag behoorlik tussenbeweeg kom nie
rokers en die lodge-vuur.

Erflike leierskap was onbekend. Mans het hoofde geword deur hul bekwaamheid in oorlog
en omdat hy ooit vrygewig moet wees, was 'n hoofman gewoonlik 'n arm man. Met die
Blackfeet, soos met die ander Indiane van die noordwestelike vlaktes, het 'n hoofskap gehad
te handhaaf deur konstante demonstrasie van persoonlike vermoë. Dit kan maklik wees
verlore in 'n enkele dag, aangesien hierdie onafhanklike stamgenote vry was om hul eie te kies
leiers, en was vinnig besig om 'n swak of lafhartige karakter te verlaat. Hierdie onafhanklikheid
is by die kinders van die vlaktes ingeboesem. Hulle is nooit geslaan nie, of
swaar gestraf. Die seuns is gedurig deur die ou manne van die stamme voorgehou,
aangespoor om te strewe na bekendheid as krygers en om eerbaar te sterf in die geveg voor ouds
ouderdom het na hulle toe gekom. Die name van stamhelde was vir ewig op hierdie tonge
leraars en oral is lafhartigheid bitter veroordeel. 'N Lafaard is verbied
trou, en hy moet te alle tye vroueklere dra.

Die meisies is deur hul moeders en oumas geleer om ernstig op te kyk
lewe, om die ligsinnige te vermy en om nie te giggel nie. Met die Blackfeet, vroue & quotgave & quot
die son-danse, die heiligste van hul godsdienstige seremonies en omdat die & quotgewers & quot
van hierdie son-danse moes 'n voorbeeldige lewe geleef het om danse aan te durf bied
die son, is hulle vir ewig daarna deur beide die mans en die vroue hoog geëer
van die stam. "Kyk, my dogter," sou 'n vrou sê, "daar is twee-sterre.
Sy is die-sit-langs-hom-vrou van White-Wolf. Twee somers gelede het sy 'n
son-dans, en sy lewe nog. As jy probeer om soos sy te wees, kan jy eendag 'n sonskyn gee.
dans, jouself. & quot Meisies is deur hul moeders gewaarsku teen ontrouheid aan hulle
mans, want egbreuk het 'n getroude vrou haar neus of ore gekos vir 'n tweede oortreding
sy is vermoor deur haar broers, of eerste neefs, op formele klag van haar man.
Deur die stamwet is moord gestraf met die dood, of deur die moordenaar van alles te ontneem
eiendom ten bate van die dooie man se gesin, laasgenoemde kies die boete.
Bewese verraad, wat neerkom op verraad, is ook met die dood gestraf en a
dief was verplig om die gesteelde goedere aan hul regmatige eienaar terug te besorg.

Die losies, of tipies, van die vlakte -Indiane was die gemaklikste vervoerbare
skuilings wat ooit deur die mens bedink is. Hulle was gemaak van korrels en gedeeltelik aangetrek,
buffelkoeivelle, van veertien tot vier-en-twintig velle benodig vir 'n lodge.
Indiese vroue kan maklik binne 'n paar minute 'n lodge slaan of slaan. In die koue
in die weer is die lodges gemaklik gemaak, behalwe dat dit binne -in verhelder is deur
pragtig versierde voerings wat tot bo die koppe van die passasiers kom, wat hulle teen trekke beskerm. Van veertien tot ses-en-twintig slanke pale was nodig vir elke lodge, hul lengte hang af van die hoogte van die lodge
losie. Nuwe stelle pale word gewoonlik elke jaar gesny, aangesien dit oor die sleep gesleep word
vlaktes om die buffelkuddes te volg, het hulle in 'n seisoen verslyt. Losies was dikwels
versier met prentverhale van medisyne-drome, kopvelle en buffelstertjies. In die
elke stam, en elke individuele lodge, het sy regmatige posisie gehad, die lodges van
met stamhoofde, elkeen 'n klein sirkel in die dorpsirkel
sy erfpos beklee.

Indiërs van die vlaktes respekteer waardigheid en liefde vir formaliteit. Konvensionele dekor,
maklik en meesterlik, was altyd duidelik in die losies van ou vlaktekrygers. Van
die gasheer se plek by die & quothead & quot van 'n lodge wat sy seuns aan sy linkerkant gesit het, volgens sy ouderdom
vroue, en hul besoekende vrouevriende, aan sy regterkant. 'N Manlike gas by die ingang
'n lodge, draai na regs om die lodge se vuur en kry dadelik 'n sitplek
aan die linkerkant van die gasheer, volgens sy rang as 'n kryger. As 'n besoeker 'n boodskap gehad het, het hy
staan ​​terwyl hy dit aflewer en hy is nooit om enige rede onderbreek totdat hy dit gedoen het nie
klaar gepraat, en dit so verklaar. Selfs 'n vyand kan in 'n lodge kom
praat soos hy gekies het sonder inmenging of gedurig. Nadat hy die dorp verlaat het
moet egter self kyk.

Mandjie en die maak van erdewerk was onbekend aan die Blackfeet. Hulle
wapens, klere en klere het die meeste van hul artistieke aandag geniet, die drie
kronkelende ontwerp wat die drie stamme van die land verteenwoordig wat algemeen gebruik word.
Die meeste van hul boë was gemaak van as, of die hout van die chokecherry, hul pyle
gemaak van die lote van diensbessies. Hulle skilde was van rouvel
uit die nekke van ou buffels geneem. Hulle sou 'n pyl draai, en word gesê
om gereeld koeëls wat uit outydse gewere geskiet is, te laat draai. Die ou tyd pype van die
Swart voete is soms gemaak van swart of groenerige klip, pype wat reguit is
gebruik by seremonies.

Die mans het hemde, broekstukke, leggings en moccasins gedra, met laasgenoemde soled
rouvel. In die somer het hulle geen kopskerm gedra nie, tensy hulle 'n seremonie bygewoon het. In
in die winter het die manne dikwels pette gedra wat gemaak is van die velle van diere of watervoëls. Arend
die manne het dikwels vere gedra, en pragtige oorlogskappies word saam met hulle gemaak.
Die vroue het rokke van gekleurde takbokke, wildsbokke of bergskape gedra
bereik amper tot by hul enkels en hulle het ook leggings, moccasins en versierde gedra
gordels wat messe in geverfde skede dra.

Die mans was deeglike sportmanne, lief vir perdewedrenne, voetrenne en dobbel.
Hulle was grasieuse wenners en goeie verloorders in toevallige wedstryde. En hulle was ferm
gelowiges in geluk en in die medisyne wat in drome verleen word. Mans het dikwels verhonger, en
selfs, hulleself gemartel, ter voorbereiding op die gewenste medisyne-drome. Toe, fisies en geestelik verswak deur die opwarming van sweetbaddens en moegheid, het hulle
alleen weggeglip na 'n gevaarlike plek, gewoonlik 'n hoë bergpiek, 'n blote krans,
of 'n verslete buffelspoor wat op 'n uur deur 'n groot trop buffels gereis kan word
en hier, sonder kos, of water, het hulle vier dae en nagte deurgebring (indien nodig)
probeer om te droom, 'n beroep op onsigbare en quothelpers, & quot hardop hardop tot die winde tot
totale uitputting het hulle laat slaap, of bewusteloosheid- en miskien 'n geneesmiddel-
droom.

As daar 'n geluk was, het 'n dier of voël aan die dromer verskyn en raad gegee
hulp, byna altyd reëls voorskryf wat die dromer sou lei as dit gevolg word
sukses in oorlog. Daarna was die voël of dier wat in die medisyne-droom verskyn het
die dromer se medisyne. Hy het geglo dat al die krag, die slinkse en die instinktiewe wysheid wat die voël of dier het, vir ewig daarna sou wees
sy eie wees in tyd van nood. En altyd daarna het die dromer 'n paar saamgedra
deel van so 'n voël of dier. Dit was sy gelukkige stuk, 'n talisman, en hy sou niks daaraan op sy persoon onderneem nie.

In elk van die drie stamme van Blackfeet was daar verskeie samelewings, sommige van hulle
geheime organisasies is. Die meeste van hulle was militêr, sommige van hulle
het oorspronklik polisiemag oor dorpe en ten minste een daarvan was saamgestel
van seuns wat nog nie oud genoeg was om oorlog toe te gaan nie. Die Horn Society of the Bloods,
en die Kit-Foxes of the Pecunnies, blykbaar dieselfde gemeenskap te wees en
dit was moontlik die eerbaarste en eksklusiefste. Die vroue van die Pecunnie
het ook 'n samelewing gehad wat na bewering geheim was. Dit was klaarblyklik nie anders as die
Horings staan, want daar is niemand behalwe vroue van middeljarige ouderdom aan wie bekend was nie
regop was, was lidmaatskap. Hierdie genootskap het sy lede gekies,
kies hulle voor versoek, een teenstrydige stem uitgesluit 'n voorgestelde vrou.

Soos alle Indiërs van die vlaktes, het die Blackfeet voorheen diep geloof in die
medisyne-manne, die & quotwise-ones & quot van hul stamme en alhoewel hierdie mans hul toevlug geneem het
ingewikkelde seremonies wat pasiënte en toeskouers gefassineer het, is daar geen twyfel nie
hulle genees dikwels siekes en gewondes deur hierdie geloof alleen. Hulle het egter
beskik oor aansienlike kennis van die medisinale eienskappe van kruie en wortels, en
hulle dikwels voorgeskryf. Daar was min siekte sedert die daaglikse lewe van die vlaktes
Indiane het hulle in 'n perfekte fisiese toestand gehou. Sunrise sien die meeste van die mans en
seuns in die ysige strome, winter sowel as somer.

Die begrafnis van die dooies was gewoonlik op platforms wat vasgemaak is aan die bome van die boom
bereik van wolwe. Veilig toegedraai in buffelrokke, stewig vasgemaak met ruwe vel stringetjies,
die lyke was veilig vir kraaie, kraaie en eksters. Wapens en pype was
begrawe saam met krygers, wortelgrawers en kookgerei saam met die vroue. Dikwels is a
'n aantal perde is doodgemaak by die begrafnis van 'n kryger, sodat sy gees in The Sand Hills, die hemel van die swart voete, kon ry. In rou oor 'n seun, of 'n ander mannetjie
familielid, beide mans en vroue het hulself skerpgemaak en hul hare afgesny, die vroue
jammerlik, soms vir lang periodes. Die rou oor vroue was van
korter duur, en nie so wild nie.

Die Blackfeet was vleiseters. Vleis vorm ten volle 90% van hul daaglikse tarief. Dit
was óf gekook óf gebraai, & quotvleisgate, & quot wat as vuurvrye fornuis werk, synde
soms gebruik. Wortels en bolle is ook in die grond gaargemaak en die eiers van
watervoëls is dikwels gestoom. Bessies is vars geëet en dit is gedroog
wintergebruik, laasgenoemde word gebruik om die beste pemmican, 'n mengsel van gedroogde,
maer vleis deeglik verpulp en gekruid met die bessies en beenmurg.
Gewone pemmican is gemaak met gedroogde vleis en gesmelte talg, sonder bessies
gebruik. Die Blackfeet het nie sout nie, en soos al die vlaktes het stamme hul vleis gedroog
ongesoute in die son, verpak dit vir wintergebruik, die pemmikaan in sakke met buffels.

In die dae voor die witman na die vlaktes gekom het, was die Blackfeet gelukkig
mense. Daar was 'n oorvloed materiaal vir hul kos, klere en skuilings
voortdurend in sig in elke hand. Buiten hierdie behoeftes was hul behoeftes min,
sodat dit met 'n vaste geloof in die uitputtelose oorvloed van hul geliefde grasvelde
praktiese mense het elke dag vir homself geleef. En hulle het geweet hoe om te lewe. Hulle trots op
self te veel gemak verbied, selfs in hul land van oorvloed. Geen suksesvolle jagter nie,
geen stamgenoot wat, met ru -wapens, 'n gesin in oorvloed gevoed het, 'n kon gewees het nie
lui man, geen volmaakte ruiter nie, 'n swakkeling. Die arms en polse van mans wat kon
stuur pyle na hul vere na die liggame van groot buffelbulle toe
kragtig soos veerstaal en mense wat van oorlog gehou het, kon nie gewees het nie
swakhartig.

Die krag van uithouvermoë van die vlaktes -Indiane was nog altyd verby
begrip deur wit mans. Hierdie stamlede het gejag, gesmul, gedobbel en gretig
oorlog gemaak het, vaar jong mans dikwels alleen oor die ongemerkte vlaktes om staatskaping te tel,
sodat hulle met die jong vroue van hul keuse kon trou en onder die getalle tel
die krygers van die stam. Om 'n vyand dood te maak en te skrap, het hulle nie geregtig op staatskaping nie.
Hulle moet 'n gewapende vyand met hul hande slaan, of met iets wat in hulle gehou word
hande, sonder om die vyand anders te beseer, of hulle moet 'n vyand se vang
wapens, of die eerste keer 'n vyand wat in die geveg geval het, tref, ens., die reëls vir
staatskaping wat ietwat verskil tussen die vlaktestamme. En hierdie staatskaping
van jong mans verwag is. Eeue lank, gedurende die lang, winternagte hierop
noordelike vlaktes, rooi aartsvaders wat moed en dapperheid prys, terwyl hulle voordra
heldeverhale, waarvan sommige moontlik gehad het oorsprong in verre lande.* Hulle was 'n verandering-
minder mense, 'n romanties gelukkige volk, totdat die witman na die vlaktes gekom het.

* Ek het een van hulle in 'n vertaling uit die Sanskrit gevind.

Die Blackfeet het instinktief gekant teen die koms van witvangers en handelaars.
Tog het die pelsondernemings forte in die boonste Missouri in die hartjie van die
Pecunnie -land en nêrens het die witman so laag neergebuig vir wins as in die
bonthandel van die Noordweste was hy nêrens so laakbaar as in sy behandeling nie
van die vlaktes Indiër. Behalwe sy handelswisky het hy aansteeklike siektes na 'n
mense wie se bloed skoon was. Niemand sal ooit die helfte van die misdade ken nie
gepleeg deur hierdie gierige handelaars. Die afgedwonge inenting van 'n groot groep
Indiërs besoek met die pokkevirus wat uit die pustules op die liggaam van 'n
wit getref raak by Fort Union, waarvan die bloed andersins onrein was,
is opstandig genoeg, veral as u weet dat die stap heeltemal ingeneem is
die belangstelling van die handelaars wat gehoop het om die plaag voor die val te beëindig
handel begin. Dit is nog meer oproerig as 'n mens verneem dat al die ingeënt is
Indiërs het omgekom, en tog is hierdie daad nie meer duiwels van aard as die ontslag nie
van 'n kanon gelaai met ons handelsballetjies in 'n skare niksvermoedende Pecunnies wat
was in 1843 op besoek aan Fort McKenzie, 'n bietjie onder Fort Benton.

Die American Fur Company se stoomboot. Trapper, het pokke teen die rivier gebring
in 1837. Hierdie verwoestende plaag het deur die stamme van die Noordwestelike vlaktes getrek
soos 'n vergiftigde storm. Niemand weet hoeveel Indiërs omgekom het nie, volgens skattings
van 60 000 tot 200 000 mans, vroue en kinders. Miskien die minste van hierdie syfers
hoog is. Tog het die Mandans alleen 6000 lede verloor, sodat wanneer die plaag
het self die stam deurgebring, maar 32 krygers het lewendig oorgebly. Bereik Fort McKenzie
die siekte het die gevangenes eers aangeval, sterftes het so vinnig plaasgevind dat daar begrawe is
onmoontlik. Die lyke is in die Missouri -rivier gegooi. Binne die fort
daar was 29 sterftes, waarvan 26 Pecunnie -vroue was wat aan die
fort se betrek. By die aankoms van die boot met siektes was daar 500 lodges van
Blackfeet het by Fort McKenzie kamp opgeslaan. Nou was hulle weg. Gedurende die hele tyd wat
die pokke het die fort se geselskap geteister, maar 'n Indiër verskyn nie op die vlaktes nie.

In Oktober Alexander Culbertson, bestuurder van die American Fur Company by McKenzie,
het gaan uitvind wat met sy klante gebeur het. Hy het nie
om ver te reis voordat u 'n dorpie van 60 Pecunnie -lodges tussen die
lyke van honderde mans, vroue en kinders, en selfs van perde en honde.
Hier, in hierdie aaklige omgewing, het Culbertson twee ou vroue gevind wat te swak was
reis, sing hul doodsliedere onder die verrotte dooies. And here, having seen
enough, Alexander Culbertson, the trader, turned back to his fort.

In November straggling groups of Blackfeet came to Fort McKenzie to tell their
awful story. The disease had not made its appearance among them until the tenth
day after leaving the post. Then its ravaging became so terrible that in the ensuing panic young warriors who fell ill stabbed themselves to death rather than have
their fine bodies wasted and scarred by the loathsome disease. More than 6000
Blackfeet had perished, they said, more than half their nation. Many other tribes
suffered as severely, the Assiniboins losing more than three-quarters of their warriors.

Nevertheless the trade in buffalo robes was that fall and winter greater than
ever before at Forts McKenzie and Union, since dead Indians needed no robes.
Stripped by thousands from their bodies by surviving tribesmen these death-robes
were traded in at the Company's forts and then, without the least attempt at disinfection, they were shipped to "the states" where, providentially, no epidemic of
smallpox ensued. But the weakened tribes never again regained their numbers.
Ever since 1837 these Indians have been failing physically. This is not only because
their best blood perished in the plague of that year, but because whole clans having
been wiped out, inter-breeding ensued.

During all this time the heavy toll upon the immense herds of buffalo in the Northwest
was scarcely noticeable and now there was an exodus of traders. Having stripped
the section of its beaver and land-fur, these avaricious white men began to abandon
their trading-posts on the river, and to leave the country to the Indians and hungry
wolves.

The Blackfeet, weakened in numbers, and tortured with bitter recollections, had
scarcely settled down to their old life when the Seventies brought the professional
skin-hunters to the plains. And now, for from 50 cents to $1.50 per head, these
white men shot down the buffalo for their robes alone, leaving countless thousands
of tons of fat meat to rot where it fell. By the middle Eighties the skin-hunters had
finished. The buffalo were gone forever. The wide grass-lands, which for centuries
had been so bountiful, were bleak, inhospitable, and bare. Even the elk and antelope
had been wiped away. The Blackfeet, and all the Indians of the plains, were hungry
now and even while the Pecunnies searched in vain for the vanished herds, which
the old warriors believed had hidden away, more than one-quarter of the tribe starved
to death.

Dazed, unable to comprehend the terrible calamity which had overtaken them,
clinging doggedly to their belief that the buffalo had hidden, and would soon return
to their loved grass-lands, the Pecunnies were slow to rally. If the tardy Government
of the United States had not acted the Pecunnies would have perished to a man.

But the Government did act at last and the work of making wild hunters into
gentle farmers in a single generation began. And this work is succeeding. Die
Pecunnies, and all the Blackfeet, are rapidly becoming self-supporting by raising cattle
and crops on the old buffalo range.


Niitsitapii (Blackfoot) Language

In physical culture the language communicates a visual picture, a perception, or a description of action that takes place in the moment of speaking, the full meaning of which is explained by the physical context. The language shares these descriptive duties by separating inanimate and animate beings, classified by some as having gender, although they then have to place nouns as being either animate or inanimate. Celestial beings, together with plants and animals, are animate.

The sign language used by the Niitsitapii (Blackfoot) also makes use of spatial orientation as a foundational principle, as does the syllabary system. The writing on rocks also relates stories. The placing of stones in particular shapes tells stories, which can then be read, telling of significant events that affect the entire community, that is, they are told by the community members to signal that some important event took place there. The orthography of lodge paintings and other expressions of the universe's forces also expresses this localizing order. A rich vocabulary is contained in each. All action has boundary and orientation, which is how one knows what happened. Above Ones, Below Ones, and All Four Directions, the origin stories, are based in the same rules. Patterns are sought and utilized in visual dimensions, with these depictions rooted in the oral patterns that set rhythm and segment, order and beauty to the storytelling. In songs and prayers, the vibration of creation is repeatedly re-created.


Blackfoot Tribe

This article contains interesting facts, pictures and information about the life of the Blackfoot Native American Indian Tribe of the Great Plains.

Facts about the Blackfoot Native Indian Tribe
This article contains fast, fun facts and interesting information about the Blackfoot Native American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions like where did the Blackfoot tribe live, what clothes did they wear, what did they eat and who were the names of their most famous leaders? Discover what happened to the Blackfoot tribe with facts about their wars and history. The above picture shows the Blackfoot warrior holding a Prayer Stick that was used to make offerings and petitions to the spirit world. The Blackfoot men wore bright face paint for religious ceremonies and, more famously in times of war. War Paint was used to make warriors look ferocious and the designs and colors that were used were believed to hold magic powers of protection. The red color as worn by the above Blackfoot warrior symbolized war, blood, power, strength, energy and success.

What was the lifestyle and culture of the Blackfoot tribe?
The Blackfoot tribe nomadic hunter gatherers who living in tepees and hunted the buffalo and other game such as deer, elk and mountain sheep. The only plant that the Blackfoot tribe cultivated was tobacco. Men were in charge of hunting for food and protecting the camp and the women were in charge of the home. The vast range of the Blackfoot tribe stretched from the Missouri River from the Yellowstone and north to the North Saskatchewan and westward towards the Rockies.

Where did the Blackfoot tribe live?
The Blackfoot are people of the Great Plains Native American cultural group. The location of their tribal homelands are shown on the map. The geography of the region in which they lived dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Blackfoot tribe.

Map showing location of the
Great Plains Native American Cultural Group

What did the Blackfoot tribe live in?
The Blackfoot tribe lived in tepees which were the tent-like American Indian homes used by most of the Native Indian tribes of the Great Plains. The Tepee was constructed from wooden poles that were covered with animal skins such as buffalo hides. The tepee was designed to be quickly erected and easily dismantled.

What language did the Blackfoot tribe speak?
The Blackfoot tribe spoke in the Algonquian language.

What food did the Blackfoot tribe eat?
The food that the Blackfoot tribe ate was primarily the buffalo but all types of other game were eaten if they were available. Fish and meat was supplemented by roots, herbs, berries and fruits. The preferred method of cooking meat was by roasting however, the Blackfoot women also boiled meat sometimes in a bowl of stone or alternatively in a container made from the hide or the paunch of a buffalo.

What weapons did the Blackfoot use?
The weapons used by the Blackfoot tribe included bows and arrows, war clubs, spears, lances and knives. They also used shields made of buffalo hides for protection.

What clothes did the Blackfoot women wear?
The type of clothes worn by the women were ankle length dresses made of buckskin dresses (the skin of a male deer) The dresses were decorated with beads. The women also wore leggings in cold weather.

What was the religion of the Blackfoot tribe?
The religion and beliefs of the Blackfoot tribe was based on Animism that encompassed the spiritual or religious idea that the universe and all natural objects animals, plants, trees, rivers, mountains rocks etc have souls or spirits. The Great Plains tribes such as the Blackfoot believed in Manitou, the Great Spirit . The Blackfoot name for the Supreme Being is "Apistotoke"

The Medicine Man's role was that of opponent to the bad spirits and guardian of the ordinary man. The Medicine Man used chants, dances and rituals to protect men from evil spirits. The Medicine Man was a healer, a prophet and a mystic and as such held an important position within the Blackfoot Tribe.

Who were the most famous leaders and chiefs of the Blackfoot tribe?
The Blackfeet, the Bloods (Kainai), and the Piegans formed the league of the Siksika nation. The most famous leaders and chiefs of the Blackfoot tribe included Morning Owl, Red Crow, Heavy Runner, Mountain Chief, Yellow Horse, Red Plume, Chief Crowfoot and Chief Running Rabbit. It was Chief Crowfoot who negotiated a peace agreement with the Canadian government. Their allies were the Gros Ventres of Montana and the Sarcee in Canada. The Blackfoot tribe had many enemies including Cree, the Assiniboin, the Sioux, the Crow, the Nez Perce, the Shoshone, the Flathead. But their biggest enemy was the white man who they called the Big Knives.

Blackfoot History: What happened to the Blackfoot tribe?
The First Dragoon Expedition of 1834 was the first official contact between the US government and the Plains Indians and conflicts with the whites soon followed. The Lame Bull Treaty was signed in 1855 and the Blackfoot were relegated to the reservation. More conflicts arose with the US army under the command of General Philip Sheridan. By the 1870's the deliberate great slaughter of the northern bison herds to prevent the Native Indians continuing the Great Plains lifestyle had taken effect. Many of the Blackfoot fled to Canada. In 1898, the US government dismantled tribal governments and outlawed the practice of traditional Native Indian religions - it was reversed in 1934.


MONTANA

The Blackfeet Nation invites you to visit the Blackfeet Heritage Center & Art Gallery to experience authentic Blackfeet and Native American arts, crafts and jewelry. Blackfeet Heritage Center is located in Browning Montana on Highway 2 in the heart of Blackfeet Country in beautiful northwestern Montana. The Heritage Center is open daily in the summer, weekdays in winter, is handicap accessible and admission is free.

Gallery:
Representing over 500 Native American artists, artisans and crafts people from 19 different North American tribes, the gallery carries a wide variety of authentic Blackfeet and Native American creations, including bead work, handcrafted jewelry, quill work, pottery, rugs, kachinas, horse hair work, moccasins, carvings, bronze work, sculpture, baskets, rawhide work, drums, dolls, hides, original water colors, acrylics, oils, wood relief, prints and a wide selection of Blackfeet and Native American historical, traditional and contemporary books.

Fine Art:
In our fine art West Gallery, an artist and sculptor of the month are featured. The Blackfeet Heritage Center and Art Gallery has the honor to represent some of the most talented and recognized contemporary Plains Indian artists in the United States.

Commemorative Coins:
When Lewis and Clark traveled through uncharted country and encountered the Plains Indians during their expedition, they provided many native tribes with a symbol of fellowship in the form of a trade medallion. The Blackfeet Nation in Montana has continued this tradition and is commemorating Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery II by offering a collection of precious coins and a medallion.

Fossil:
A baby Tyrannosaur skeleton represents the smallest and most complete skeleton of a juvenile Tyrannosaur found in North America on the Blackfeet reservation.


Legends of America

The Blackfoot Confederacy is the name given to four Native American tribes in the Northwestern Plains, which include the North Piegan the South Piegan, the Blood, and the Siksika tribes. In the beginning, they occupied a large territory stretching from the North Saskatchewan River in Canada to the Missouri River in Montana. The four groups, sharing a common language and culture, had treaties of mutual defense, gathered for ceremonial rituals, and freely intermarried.

Typical of the Plains Indians in many aspects of their culture, the Blackfoot, also known as Blackfeet, were nomadic hunter-gatherers, living in teepees and subsisting primarily on buffalo and gathered vegetable foods.

Originally living in the northern Great Lakes Region, the Blackfoot was one of the first tribes to begin moving Westward. Thought to have been pushed out by their arch enemies, the Cree Indians, the Blackfoot began to roam the northern plains from Saskatchewan to the Rocky Mountains.

Oral tradition indicates that the buffalo were first hunted in drives and deer and smaller game were caught with snares. Although fish were abundant, they were eaten only when no other meat source was available.

During the winter, the Blackfoot separated into bands near wooded areas of approximately 10 to 20 lodges, each encompassing somewhere between 100 and 200 people. Each band, led by a Chief, was large enough to defend against attacks but small enough to be mobile should provisions run short. The size also provided for buffalo hunts in the timbered regions where buffalo often wintered, sheltered from the storms and making them easy prey. Bands were defined by residence rather than kinship and members were free to join other bands whenever they liked. Leaders of each band was an informal process, defined by wealth, war success and ceremonial experiences.

In the spring, when the buffalo moved out onto the grasslands, the Blackfoot followed after all trace of the winter had ended. During the summer, the Blackfoot lived in large tribal camps, hunting buffalo and engaging in ceremonial rituals. In mid-summer, the people grouped for a major tribal ceremony, the Sun Dance. The assembly provided for ceremonial rituals, social purposes, and warrior societies based on brave acts and deeds.. Large buffalo hunts provided food and offerings for the ceremonies. After the Sun Dance assembly, the Blackfoot once again separated to follow the buffalo.

The first time the Blackfoot saw horses was in 1730 when the Shoshone tribe attacked them on horseback. For this reason, the Blackfoot were pleased when Europeans began to arrive, allowing them to gain horses themselves. However, their sentiments changed quickly as smallpox epidemics ravaged their population in the mid-1800s. Though they continued to trade buffalo hides, horses and guns with the encroaching settlers, they primarily obtained their horses through trade with the Flathead, Kutenai and Nez Perce tribes.

January 23, 1870, one of the worse slaughters of Indians by American troops occurred, since known as the Marias Massacre. While the U.S. Cavalry was looking for a band of hostile Blackfoot Indians led by Mountain Chief, they stumbled instead, onto a peaceable band of Piegan Indians led by Chief Heavy Runner.

In the early morning hours, the cavalrymen spread out in an ambush position along the snowy bluffs overlooking the Marias River. The encampment was unprotected as most of the men were out hunting and before the command to fire was made, Chief Heavy Runner emerged from his lodge waving a safe-conduct paper. When an Army scout by the name of Joe Kipp shouted that this was the wrong camp, he was threatened into silence. Another scout, Joe Cobell, then fired the first shot, killing Heavy Runner and the massacre ensued.

When the carnage was over 173 lay dead – mostly women, children and the elderly. 140 others were captured, later to be turned loose without horses, adequate food, and clothing.

Blackfoot Teepee by Edward S. Curtis

As the refugees made their way to Fort Benton, Montana, some ninety miles away, many of them froze to death. In the meantime, Mountain Chief and his people had escaped across the border into Canada.

The Blackfoot maintained their traditions and culture right up until the time that the white settlers had made the buffalo almost extinct. In 1877, the Canadian Blackfoot felt compelled to sign a treaty that placed them on a reservation in southern Alberta. In Montana, with the buffalo nearly extinct, many of the Blackfoot starved and were forced to depend upon the Indian Agency for food.

During the early part of the 1800s, the Blackfoot had an estimated population of approximately 20,000 people. However, the diseases brought on by the white settlers, including smallpox and measles, along with starvation and war reduced their number to less than 5,000 by the turn of the century.

In the face of these adversities, the Blackfoot have not lost their culture or their language. Today, there are approximately 25,000 Blackfoot members. The Piegan Blackfoot are located on the Blackfoot Nation in northwestern Montana near Browning. The other three tribes are primarily located in Alberta, Canada.

Blackfeet Nation
P.O. Box 850
Browning, Montana 59417
406-338-7521/7522


Geskiedenis

We knew that we could do a lot more together than we could do individually .

–Hank Goetz, former Lands Director

OUR STORY begins in the early 1970s, when landowners along the Blackfoot River recognized the need to build partnerships with public agencies in order to address natural resource threats facing the watershed. By focusing their early efforts where they agreed, these partners realized they could accomplish much more by working together. These early conversations paved the way for what would become public stream access and walk-in hunting on private lands in Montana.

Hank Goetz and Land Lindbergh standing at the junction of the Blackfoot and Clearwater Rivers.

Before there was no forum by which to handle the impacts to the watershed. With the influx of new ideas and people, coupled with the different agendas of all the agencies, it was time to get in front of the potential issues and try to deal with them.

-Land Lindbergh, first Board Chair

By the early 1990s, threats to natural resources and the rural way of life in the Blackfoot were coming to a head. A long history of poor mining, logging, and livestock grazing practices were taking their toll. Recreational use continued to increase and invasive weeds were spreading across fence lines. American Rivers listed the Blackfoot as one of the most endangered rivers in the nation, and native fish populations were “on a collision course with oblivion.” Furthermore, subdivision and commercial development threatened the rural, agricultural character of the Blackfoot as family ranches faced being sold and split up.

As these pressures mounted, private landowners and public agencies began to recognize the need for a coordinated forum to exchange information and identify ways to respond. Local leaders held large public meetings and face-to-face discussions across the watershed to discuss the idea of forming such an organization. On the heels of the formation of the Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Blackfoot Challenge officially formed in 1993 to take a ride-to-ridge approach to collaborative conservation in the watershed.

The mission of the Blackfoot Challenge is to coordinate efforts to conserve and enhance natural resources and the rural way of life in the Blackfoot watershed for present and future generations.

A key to the Challenge’s success since those early days has been the commitment to place and process of our volunteer Board of Directors. Every public agency that manages land in the Blackfoot watershed has a seat on the board. Additional leadership is comprised of private landowners, local business owners, conservation NGOs, and other watershed residents. All share a common belief in the Challenge’s community-based approach, and meet monthly to share information, listen and learn from one another, and prioritize program delivery.

The work we do is directed by a variety of committees and supporting work groups, each of which is chaired by a board member. Our committees are forums to bring people together, share information, and devise solutions to specific issues. Since the beginning, these committees have evolved along with the needs of the watershed.

Today, the Blackfoot Challenge includes 25 board members, 10 full- and part-time staff, eight committees, and seven work groups, all working hand-in-hand to achieve the mission of the Blackfoot Challenge.

Click to view the timeline of events that led us to where we are today (coming soon!)

Process

David Mannix with Jennifer Schoonen, Blackfoot Challenge Water Steward, and Kevin Ertl, US Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo by Eliza Wiley.

We can agree on so many things if we just talk to people about what they want to achieve. If you can focus on the 80% of issues that we agree on, we can work together, build trust, and find success. Then if we do disagree, the trust is there to keep working on the other 20%.

–David Mannix, Board Member

AT ITS CORE, the Blackfoot Challenge is a process. A way of working together. Here, we share some of the key tenets that we hold ourselves accountable to. By following this process, we find solutions that stand the test of time.

  • Be inclusive invite everyone to the table.
  • Identify community leaders who are respected and respectful, collaborative and open-minded, and are able to represent diverse values.
  • Practice the 80/20 rule. When you think of barbed wire, it’s the pointy part that comes to mind, right? When in reality, the majority of barbed wire is smooth. We believe it’s the same when talking about values. If we focus on what we have in common, the values we share, we can get stuff done without getting hung up on the barbs.
  • Be open, transparent, and honest. This builds trust and credibility.
  • Do not pick sides or take positions on issues. This puts trust and credibility at risk.
  • Practice “proper pacing.” Stay in communication with your partners and don’t make decisions without them in the room.
  • Facilitate a respectful conversation.
  • Make decisions by consensus.
  • Be willing to take it slow. Finding success through collaborative processes takes time. With greater participation and support, it will be worth it in the end.
  • Get stuff done, share your successes, and celebrate!

The Watershed

The Blackfoot watershed. Photo by Lindsey Mulcare.

THE BLACKFOOT RIVER WATERSHED, located in western Montana, is well-known for its beauty, ecological diversity, recreational opportunities, and rural way of life. Beginning at the Continental Divide east of Lincoln, the Blackfoot River runs 132 miles westward to its confluence with the Clark Fork River just east of Missoula. The 1.5 million-acre watershed forms the southern end of the Crown of the Continent, one of the most ecologically intact ecosystems left on earth. Every species that was present when Meriwether Lewis made his return trip east along the Blackfoot River in 1806 still resides here today.

The Blackfoot River watershed forms the southern end of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem — one of the most ecologically-intact ecosystems left on earth. Map by Amy Pearson, The Nature Conservancy.

A history of glaciation left the Blackfoot watershed with a mosaic of habitat types that support a wide variety of fish and wildlife species. Higher elevations – including the Rattlesnake and Scapegoat Wilderness Areas – support trees such as subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce. Low and mid-elevation forests are dominated by ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, western larch, cottonwood and aspen. The watershed floor – characterized largely by private ownership – is covered with meadows, sagebrush steppe and native bunchgrass. The greatest source of biological diversity in the watershed arises from wetland features such as glacial “potholes,” basin fed creeks and spring creeks, marshes, shrubby riparian areas, and cottonwood forests. Rare wildlife species that call the Blackfoot home include grizzly bear, gray wolf, Canada lynx, wolverine, sandhill crane, and trumpeter swan, among many others. The river and its tributaries house a world-renowned blue ribbon trout fishery, providing habitat for the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout.

Unlike other watersheds across western Montana, the Blackfoot is relatively undeveloped. Cradled between the larger cities of Missoula and Helena, the Blackfoot remains rural with approximately 9,000 residents. Seven communities dot the landscape, from Lincoln at the headwaters of the Blackfoot River down to Bonner at the mouth with Helmville, Ovando, Seeley Lake, Greenough, and Potomac in between. Logging and ranching remain principal livelihoods and still shape the core identities of most communities, while newer economies based in recreation and tourism are on the rise.

This rich diversity of communities, wildlife species and habitats in the Blackfoot watershed is compounded by a checkerboard land ownership pattern that dates back to railroad development and settlement of the west. Nearly 10 unique agencies or organizations own and manage land in the Blackfoot, in addition to private landowners. This complexity gives rise to the need for a coordinated vision and management approach across the entire landscape. While founders of the Blackfoot Challenge recognized the inherent “challenge” in bringing all these partners together, they similarly recognized the opportunity that collaboration presented for the long-term success of the Blackfoot watershed.


The Intertwined History of the Blackfeet Nation and the Milk River Project

The St. Mary diversion works, which deliver water from the St. Mary River to the Milk River and provide the water for the Milk River Project’s irrigation supply downstream, are located on the Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana. While the facilities were built on Blackfeet land, largely with Blackfeet labor, the Milk River Project did not provide any water to the Blackfeet Nation until a new compact with the State of Montana was passed in 2016. After the recent failure of drop 5, the Milk River Joint Board of Control (MRJBOC), the Bureau of Reclamation, and other agencies are working closely with the Blackfeet Nation to carry out repairs in a way that takes into account the tribe’s history, culture, and environment. In this interview, Blackfeet Nation member Jeanne Whiteing, who has a long career working with the tribe on water rights issues, discusses the intertwined history of the Blackfeet Nation and the Milk River Project and tells us about the current status of the projects repairs.

Irrigation Leader: Please tell us about your background and your work with the Blackfeet Nation.

Jeanne Whiteing: I’m an attorney in Boulder, Colorado. I went to law school at the University of California at Berkeley. I started my career in Boulder with the Native American Rights Fund. I am a member of the Blackfeet Nation and have worked for the tribe throughout almost my entire legal career, mainly on water rights issues.

Irrigation Leader: What are your thoughts on the St. Mary Canal failure?

Jeanne Whiteing: The facilities of the Milk River Project divert water from the St. Mary River on the Blackfeet Reservation through a 29-mile transbasin canal and drop it into the Milk River, which carries it up into Canada and back down into Montana. While the diversion facilities are on the Blackfeet Reservation, the project does not actually serve or provide any benefit to the Blackfeet Nation. However, whenever any of the facilities fail, it definitely has an impact on the tribe. This particular failure has an impact on surrounding lands, some of which are held and owned by the tribe and some of which are owned by tribal members. If there’s a lot of water in the canal during a failure, which fortunately was not the case this time, it could pose a real danger to tribe and reservation property. We appreciate the fact that Reclamation, the MRJBOC, and others immediately informed the tribe of this failure and included the tribe in the decisionmaking process on fixing the facilities.

Irrigation Leader: What are your thoughts about the repair process?

Jeanne Whiteing: I think everybody wants to see these repairs proceed as quickly as possible. The tribe understands that this water is essential to the Milk River Project, and the tribe has been pleased that the MRJBOC and Reclamation have consulted with it on the repairs, including consultation with the tribe’s cultural program, the tribal historic preservation offices, the Blackfeet environmental office, and the Blackfeet water office. They have acknowledged the tribe’s role in the process from day 1. That is a significant advancement from what has been the case in the past, and it is much appreciated by the tribe.

Irrigation Leader: What is your message to Congress and Reclamation?

Jeanne Whiteing: Safety is the tribe’s primary concern. It is always in everybody’s interest to ensure that the project is safe and in good repair. We want to make sure that these facilities do not cause any damage or other issues on the reservation in the future. We certainly hope that the repairs are done quickly.

As I mentioned, the tribe itself doesn’t currently benefit from the project. It will start benefiting from the project soon, since a 5,000-acre-foot allocation was provided for the tribe in the tribe’s 2016 Water Rights Settlement Act. That actually will not be completely put into place until we enter into an agreement with Reclamation.

The project has historically been a concern to the tribe. A lot of people don’t understand that these facilities are on the Blackfeet Reservation and that the Blackfeet Nation played a prominent role in its construction. The St. Mary River arises in Glacier National Park, flows directly onto the reservation, and then flows north off the reservation into Canada. It is the subject of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 between the United States and Canada. The St. Mary facilities were also initially constructed over 100 years ago now, largely with labor from the Blackfeet Nation. They divert almost the entire U.S. share of the St. Mary River over to the Milk River Project.

The fact that the United States diverted so much water from the Blackfeet Reservation and didn’t provide any benefits from the water to the Blackfeet Nation has been perceived as a major historical wrong. There are differing positions on the project as a whole because it diverts so much water from the reservation and provides no benefit to the tribe. At the time of the Boundary Waters Treaty and the construction of the Milk River Project, the Winters Doctrine was also coming into being. The Winters Doctrine, which came from a 1908 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving the Milk River and the Fort Belknap Indian Community, defines the concept of federal reserved water rights for tribes, which is applied to this day. However, when the project was initiated and when the Boundary Waters Treaty was negotiated, Indian water rights were not considered, and the Milk River Tribes were not at the table, even though the Winters Doctrine was contemporaneous with these events. That is why there is still the feeling that a historical wrong was perpetrated in the undertaking of the Milk River Project. Therefore, in any rehabilitation or reconstruction of the project facilities, the tribe will be looking for potential benefits and the continuing recognition of its role as a stakeholder.

The tribe has since defined and quantified its water rights in a compact with the State of Montana, which was ratified by Congress in 2016. However, while the compact did provide a 5,000-acre-foot allocation to the tribe, it didn’t really change anything relating to the Milk River Project or the diversion of water for the project. The compact also includes some provisions and legislation relating to the operation and maintenance of the Milk River Project and stipulates that the Blackfeet Nation now has to be consulted regarding any repairs to the project. We consider all of that an advancement from what had been the case. We think we still have a way to go to correct the historical wrong of the diversion of water from the reservation, but this is a start.

Irrigation Leader: What are the Blackfeet Nation’s plans for the 5,000 acre-feet?

Jeanne Whiteing: It is still too early to say. No specific plans have been identified yet. We will be focusing on that once we have the agreement with Reclamation in place. The water will be delivered to the canal, and we will have to figure out a way to deliver it from the canal to the tribe, since there aren’t any diversions off the canal on the reservation right now. How we do that will depend on the particular use that we’ve identified for the water. There is also a lot of interest from tribal members along the canal in either stock water or irrigation water, and we definitely want to respond to that interest. There is also the potential for marketing the water downstream.


Blackfeet - History

Q: Did the Blackfoot Indians ever live in the South (Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas, etc.)? Did they ever merge with the Cherokee tribe?
A : It's interesting how often this question comes up. The Blackfoot Indians are people of the Northern Plains--Montana and Alberta, Canada--where they still live to this day. Not only did they never live in the southern states, they were never forced to move to Oklahoma, so they never had close contacts with the Cherokees either before or after the Trail of Tears.

However, during the 1800's, a lot of Native Americans suddenly began to surface in the southeast identified as "Blackfoot" or "Blackfoot-Cherokee." There are several theories as to why. One is that "Blackfoot" may just have been a popular tribe around then, so great-grandma from South Carolina got remembered as a Blackfoot Princess simply because it sounded more glamorous than "Catawba" did. This kind of thing happened more often than you might think (coincidentally enough, many people have been incorrectly identified as Cherokees when they really belonged to some other tribe, as well). Second, "Blackfoot" was evidently a code word among the early African-American community for a person of mixed American Indian and African heritage. And third, I've heard it suggested that local white people may have called the Saponi people of Virginia and North Carolina "Blackfoot" for some reason--possibly because the name of a Saponi band, town, or leader may have translated as "Black Foot." Since the Saponi were known for taking in escaped African slaves, perhaps the second and third theories might both be true.